Saturday 4 March 2017 / 11:26 AM 2017 Press Archive / The Latest from Labour

If the Tories continue to ignore the big issues then British consumers will continue to be short-changed – Gill Furniss

Gill Furniss MP, Labour’s
Shadow Minister for Steel, Postal Services and Consumer Protection, 
responding to news that the Chancellor will unveil details of the Government’s
upcoming Consumer Green Paper in the Budget, including action on subscription
traps and simplifying small print said:

“The data from Citizens
Advice makes clear that misleading consumer practices are extremely widespread,
with over 40 per cent of British people paying for a subscription they don’t
use.  

“Consumers need much
better protection from stealthy subscriptions which often start automatically
after a free trial. Clear notifications that billing or price changes are about
to begin should be the minimum that consumers can expect. At present, companies
have no incentive to improve, so allowing enforcement bodies to impose fines is
a positive step.

“While these changes are
welcome, the Tories with their light-touch approach have an abysmal track
record on protecting consumers. Only last summer they sat back and watched
Ofgem and the Competitions and Markets Authority effectively blame consumers
for allowing energy companies to rip them off to the tune of £1.4billion a year.
And to the surprise of no one, energy bills have just been hiked yet again.
Labour would implement a price cap to properly protect consumers.

“These are sensible
proposals, but if the Tories continue to ignore the big issues then
British consumers will continue to be short-changed. It’s about time this
government started taking its responsibility to UK consumers seriously.”